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List of Phony Terror Alerts (Real Acts of Bush-Cheney Terrorism)


By TIM DICKINSON, Rollingstone.com

Back to Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts
Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts
A history of the Bush administration's most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried

"Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. There were times when some people in the administration were really aggressive about raising the threat level, and we said, 'For that?!'" — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, May 2005

The Bush administration has never shied from playing the fear card to distract the American public from scandal or goad them into supporting a deeply flawed foreign policy. Here a history of the administration's most-dubious terror alerts — including three consecutive Memorial Day scare-a-thons — all of which proved far less terrifying than the screamer headlines they inspired.

February 12, 2002

The Threat: Yemenite terrorist set to attack U.S. — today! "I want, to encourage... all Americans everywhere to be on the highest state of alert," warns Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The Reality: The threat hadn't been corroborated by U.S. intelligence agencies — and the evidence actually pointed to an attack not in the U.S., but in Yemen.

The Real News: Announced the same day that Enron CEO Ken Lay appeared before Congress, and a week after the White House was instructed not to destroy its Enron-related documents.

May 19-27, 2002

The Threat: Dick Cheney kicks off Memorial Day weekend by calling a new Al Qaeda strike "almost a certainty — it could happen tomorrow." FBI Director Robert Mueller adds, "There will be another terrorist attack." The FBI warns of strikes on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

The Reality: The administration "made a political decision" to make public all threats — even those from "hoaxers," says a retired CIA counterterrorism expert. "The amount of chatter hasn't changed in volume," adds a defense official. As for the New York threats, "There really isn't any hard information," declares the former head of the FBI bureau in New York.

The Real News: The administration's failures in preventing 9/11 were under the microscope: Bush acknowledged receiving a briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." a month before the attacks; the FAA said it had failed to alert airlines of the arrest of would-be hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui; the FBI admitted it had ignored a pre-9/11 warning that Al Qaeda had infiltrated American flight schools.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

June 10, 2002

The Threat: U.S.-born Al Qaeda agent captured. John Ashcroft interrupts a trip to Russia to brag on live TV of bagging "a known terrorist who was exploring a plan to build and explode a 'dirty bomb' in the United States."

The Reality: The suspect, Jose Padilla, had actually been in custody for a month. The "dirty bomb" allegations were so flimsy that they were dropped after the administration agreed to try the case in federal court rather than in a military tribunal.

The Real News: The threat was announced four days after FBI whistle-blower Coleen Rowley testified before Congress that 9/11 might have been prevented if the FBI flight-school warning had reached federal agents investigating Moussaoui.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

September 10, 2002

The Threat: Bush personally announces the first nationwide Orange Alert. Cheney flees to a "secure location" as Ashcroft warns that Al Qaeda appears to be targeting "transportation and energy sectors."

The Reality: There was no specific threat against any American target.

The Real News: The heightened terror alert went into effect just in time for the president's address to the nation from Ellis Island on the first anniversary of 9/11.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

February 7, 2003

The Threat: Orange Alert. CIA Director George Tenet calls the threat "the most specific we have seen" since 9/11; says Al Qaeda may use a "radiological dispersal device, as well as poisons and chemicals."

The Reality: The alert, accompanied by a warning to stock up on plastic sheets and duct tape, was debunked within days; the main source failed an FBI polygraph. Threat level remained stuck on orange for two more weeks.

The Real News: The alert followed less than forty-eight hours after Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations in which he falsely accused Saddam Hussein of harboring Al Qaeda and training terrorists in the use of chemical weapons.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

March 17, 2003

The Threat: Orange Alert. FBI warns of terror strikes by Saddam or "allied or sympathetic terrorist organizations, most notably the Al Qaeda network."

The Reality: Claim debunked by future CIA director Porter Goss, then chair of House intelligence committee: No intel suggests new attack.

The Real News: Nation's third Orange Alert came three days before Bush invaded Iraq, opening what he called the "central front of the War on Terror."

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

May 20, 2003

The Threat: For a second Memorial Day in a row, country is placed on Orange Alert following warning that "Al Qaeda has entered an operational period worldwide."

The Reality: No specific threat ever cited; alert issued because of what the Department of Homeland Security calls "the heightened vulnerability associated with the Memorial Day holiday."

The Real News: Two weeks after Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, administration's plan to implement Iraq, self-rule was postponed "indefinitely" due to looting and lawlessness.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

July 29, 2003

The Threat: Homeland Security warns that new, 9/11-like strikes are in the works: "At least one of these attacks could be executed by the end of the summer."

The Reality: Not one of the alleged attacks ever materialized.

The Real News: Days earlier, the Bush administration revealed that the CIA forewarned the president about the lack of evidence for his claim that Saddam was seeking uranium from Africa.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

December 21, 2003

The Threat: Orange Alert for the holidays. Ridge warns that threat of attack is "perhaps greater now than at any point since 9/11." Six flights are canceled; several passengers match terror watch list.

The Reality: The supposed "terrorists" included a Welsh insurance salesman, an elderly Chinese woman and a kindergartner.

The Real News: The alert came after 9/11 Commission chair Tom Kean suggested the 9/11 attacks could have been thwarted. Bush is also under fire for failing to find weapons of mass destruction.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

May 26, 2004

The Threat: Memorial Day again: "They are going to attack and hit us hard," warns a senior intelligence official. Ashcroft relays an Al Qaeda threat that "ninety percent of the arrangements for an attack in the United States were complete."

The Reality: The threat Ashcroft attributed to Al Qaeda was actually made by a discredited group that falsely claimed credit for the Madrid train bombings. This group "is not really taken seriously by Western intelligence," says one expert.

The Real News: The Abu Ghraib torture scandal has come to a full boil.
Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

June 14, 2004

The Threat: A shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio, is threatened by Al Qaeda bomber. "The American heartland was targeted for death and destruction," Ashcroft declares.

The Reality: The Somali suspect whose indictment Ashcroft trumpeted had been in custody for seven months. The charges against him made no mention of a shopping mall.

The Real News: John Kerry leads Bush by seven points in early Ohio polling.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

July 8, 2004

The Threat: Tom Ridge warns that "Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process."

The Reality: The plot did not exist: Says a top European spy, "I am aware of no intelligence, nothing that shows there will be an attack before the U.S. presidential election." Real News: Two days earlier, John Kerry tapped John Edwards as his running mate.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

August 1, 2004

The Threat: Orange Alert. Citing "new and unusually specific" intelligence, Ridge details a threat to the Citigroup building and the New York Stock Exchange. Adds Bush, "We wouldn't be, you know, contacting authorities at the local level unless something was real."

The Reality: The president allowed his own daughters to do a photo-op at one of the targeted buildings. Perhaps that's because the "new" intelligence was actually three years old. "There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," says a senior law-enforcement official. Real News: Alert came three days after Kerry took the Democratic nomination at the party's convention in Boston.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

October 6, 2005

The Threat: FBI warns of Al Qaeda subway bombing "on or about October 9th, 2005." Bush claims to have foiled ten terror plots since 9/11.

The Reality: A counter-terrorism official calls the warning unfounded: "There was no there there." None of the plots cited by Bush were operational.

The Real News: Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is failing.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

June 23, 2006

The Threat: Miami-based terrorists plotting to topple the Sears Tower. "These homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like Al Qaida," says Alberto Gonzales.

The Reality: FBI Deputy Director John Pistole terms plot “more aspirational than operational.” Suspects armed to the teeth — with paintball guns — attempted to secure Al Qaeda funds at local 7-11.

The Real News: Abu Musab Al Zarqawi had been killed days earlier — removing the villain who was then America's poster boy of terror.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

July 7, 2006

The Threat: New York Daily News breaks news of plot to bomb Holland Tunnel, flood Wall Street. FBI Assistant Director Mark Mershon calls threat "the real deal."

The Reality: Suspect had been arrested three months earlier, after bragging about his planned exploits in an Internet chat room. Said one CIA officer, "The plot, if that is what we would call it, was not well conceived, and there was no possibility of flooding Wall Street. There was no connection to a cell in the US. Finally, professional terrorists generally do not discuss targeting on open channels."

The Real News: News of plot leaked to coincide with the first anniversary of the July 7, 2005 London bombings.

Click here to read "The Fear Factory": The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?

July 10, 2007

The Threat: Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff warns of his "gut feeling" that the U.S. is entering "a period of increased vulnerability" of attack from terrorists: “Summertime seems to be appealing to them.”

The Reality: Chertoff subsequently confessed, "We don't have specific intelligence about an attack, that is, a particular attack against the homeland, that is imminent or scheduled for the summer."

The Real News: Two days later, the intelligence community revealed Al Qaeda's strength was "undiminished" in spite of six years of the "War on Terror."

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Excellent summary by Tim Dickinson/Rollingstone. This could assist in preparing a tidy graph paralleling a list of Stonewalls, Secret Corporate and Foreign-Agent Meetings, RNC/Swiftboat Releases, Right Wing Think Tank pieces, and Public Speeches by administration officials... Grand Jury style.

If you go back 5 months earlier you'll find the magnanimous and explosive demolitions of the universally-recognized and iconic WTC complex and the Pentagon led to an explosion of the words, "TERROR", "TERRORISTS", "TERRORIST ATTACKS", "Al Qaeda", "Osama bin Laden", "Islamic Extremists", and "Global War On Terror" beginning on the same day, with ZERO INVESTIGATION and ZERO PUBLIC PROOFS... hundreds, thousands of times Publicly and Officially Proclaimed, interesting?

I'm not sure how to begin such an exercise, but a count of the word "TERROR" uttered by administration would be really useful as an addition to the "935 Administration Lies" already documented. The lies that study referred to excludes the veracity of the 9/11 Official Conspiracy Theory Lies, which at least QUADRUPLES the number of Public Lies this administration can be charged and indicted on.

Like discovering your spouse is actually a duel-personality murderer/monster, it can be really hard to face the facts of PNAC's GWOT, that we'd been had, deceived, mislead, attacked then plundered right under our nose... used for evil. But regardless of how hard such facing of the facts may be, this nation must abandon DENIAL if we really want to move on. A big help psychologically comes from objective data assimilated and laid out clearly, calmly, rationally. But, and I'm really sorry it comes to this, there will be no progressive movement of any meaningful significance without facing the shadow-government activities behind 911 and the entire GWOT.

Support a New, Unimpeded, Transparent Investigation of 911 and US Involvement, leave no stone unturned, Hear the Case in a series of Grand Juries, watch the US Government Heal from the 70 year Military/Industrial Cancer... It can happen, it must happen, and it's a critical-mass of Americans that will do this.

ixoxi

Whoa!!! Rollingstone Flashback, kidz!!! . . .;-)

I remember when we kidz used to gather around a ragged passed-on copy of Rolling Stone like the French Resistance would huddle around a short wave radio during World War II . . .;-)

Nice to see a Rollingstone writer breaking my "personal" noise floor here at ADS . . .(have there been many Rollingstone referenced links and I have just not seen them . . . therefore, they don't exist? . . .;-)

Which brings us to this "Luciferian" Copper Age "Trick" of the "CURSE" or "ACCUSATION" from the AUTHORITIES ABOVE. . .

. . .and how to make "TRUTH" disappear!!! . . .;-)

. . .Magick is EASY, once YOU know the secrets, kidz . . .;-)

. . . to get the desired "effect" from the masses (trad. SLAVE psychology), one must merely make the LIE or ACCUSATION with AUTHORITY . . .

. .. the old mammalian "fear/shame" human primate brain has little or no use for the UN-emotional, cold, "matter-of-fact", and logical "RETRACTIONS" that occur ONCE later on . . .the monkey has already been conditioned by the LOOPED "FEAR/SHAME CURSE" or the "False Accusation" . . .;-)

. . . and the BIG LIE LOOP that defines the evil "enemy" is "REINFORCED" in the psyche . . . a "projection" on an "enemy" worthy and deserving of your worst primate "eye for an eye/tooth for a tooth" psychological judgments . . because the RULE of LAW does not apply to THEM!! They are ANIMALS!!! But they are DANGEROUS ANIMALS!!! You must give us your kidz and your treasure to KILL THEM before they can kill YOU!!!. . .;-)

This also works on you at the individual level. . .For example, most of you kidz have already caught on to the FACT that you are "graded, sorted, and culled" based on your ARREST RECORDS . . . and not on your CONVICTIONS . . .

. . . it is the "ACCUSATION" that allows them to convince you to take a lower position and salary, walk away from the job, or be denied the job entirely unless you submit to some shame-based conditioning program . . . because of your "curse" . . . your "scarlet letter" . . .;-)

Doesn't matter if 90% of the "cases" were total BULLSHIT designed to support a PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRISON system . . . and had absolutely NOTHING to do with contributing to the greater good or . . *gasp* administering JUSTICE . .

Doesn't matter that the Judge threw it out after cussing out the arresting officer AND the DA for bringing that crap into his courtroom . . .

. . . your ARREST RECORD is the "imprint" tool used against you. ..

LIES FOR ILLEGAL WAR = BushCo still have THEIR jobs

18 Year old with a joint = "You can either go to Prison or Go Into The Military, Kid"

I hear some pretty wild stories from these kidz around here as to the "trick" that knocked them off that great BushCo Corporate Pyramid . . .;-)

. . . and for many of these kidz, the story goes "So, THAT'S WHY I JOINED THE MILITARY . . . " . . .;-)

Yup, as the Rollingstone's writer TIM DICKINSON points out, all you have to do is MAKE the claim with absolute "AUTHORITY" . . . switch to something "EMOTIONAL" . . . then sell the "SOLUTION" . .. and the needed "SACRIFICE" . . . (repeat)

. .. and then stand back while the collection plates fill as the kidz are handed up for the sacrificial fires . . .

When the "retraction" hits, all you have to do is "Humble" yourself, admit that mistakes were made, programs have been put in place to insure this doesn't happenn again, . . and then switch back to the BIG LIE with RENEWED AUTHORITY . . .

. . and "explain" how this "little misunderstanding" doesn't detract from the BIG LIE at all . .. in fact, it SUPPORTS IT by being WRONG!!!

Can't argue with THAT BushCo Rovian logic . . .or anyone that "understands" it . . .;-)

Nice to see maybe I can recommend The Rollingstone as a "source" of Information to the kidz, again . . . like many publications, Rollingstone and I have gone our separate ways over the years . .;-)

Of course, this may just be sour grapes because they've never reviewed ANY of my "projects" . . . or my wife's . . . and we think we are just too cool for skool . . .;-)

"Now it's all designed to blow our minds
But our minds won't really be blown
Like the blow that'll getcha
When you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone."
- Cover Of The Rollingstone by Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show

peace.

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